ABC Passes On Kerry Washington-Produced Church Comedy Pilot Inspired By Touré Roberts And Sarah Jakes-Roberts

May 14th 2019

ABC is not moving forward with the project known as Untitled Leslie Odom Jr. Comedy. The church comedy pilot, produced by Kerry Washington, was inspired by the real-life couple pastors Touré Roberts and Sarah Jakes-Roberts. Leslie Odom Jr. and Kelly Jenrette would have led the cast, which also included Alexis Fields.

The network's 2019-20 lineup was made official Tuesday, and all pilots are no longer in contention besides NYPD Blue, Heart of Life and Nana, which are all being redeveloped.

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The story revolved around the characters Omari and Hope, "who are joint pastors at a young, hip, diverse church in Los Angeles. Through their services, online streams and books, they are experts at uniting people across different races, genders, orientations and opinions. But when it comes to uniting the people in their blended family, they are way out of their comfort zone, and as a result, the teachers often find themselves the pupils."

ABC opted for a light load this pilot season, ordering just six series. Two of them were comedies, the black-ish spinoff mixed-ish and United We Fall, starring Christina Vidal. The Leslie Odom Jr. pilot and another pilot at the network starring Hannah Simone were considered sure bets for series orders. However, it seems that the network has decided to wait a year before making a vast expansion into new programming. ABC is in a transition period after the Disney-Fox deal and a change of network president from Channing Dungey to Karey Burke.

Saladin Patterson, the showrunner of TBS comedy The Last O.G. starring Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish, wrote the script.

 

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Photo: Getty Images

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